The Chatter: 'Bath salt' bill, endangered rural post offices and more health care vote debate

01/24/2011 09:26 AM

Democratic Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville and Republican Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Fort Wright have filed legislation — House Bill 121 — to block the sale of methamphetamine-like drugs called “bath salts.” The substances are currently sold in some convenience stores. Tilley, the House Judiciary chairman, was quoted in a national Associated Press article over the weekend saying, “If my 12-year-old can go in a store and buy it, that concerns me.”

The Wall Street Journal sent back a dispatch from Holmes Mill in Eastern Kentucky about the fate of hundreds of rural post offices that are to be closed by the financially hemorrhaging U.S. Postal Service. Some members of Congress, including Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine object to the Postal Service trying to save money by shuttering offices, which in many small towns are vital connections to the rest of the world.  Here’s what the article specifically says about the Holmes Mill Post Office in Harlan County:

The Holmes Mill post office is closing in a consolidation set to claim more than 30 small Kentucky post offices this year, according to local postal officials. It’s in the red, costing the postal service $12,748 in fiscal year 2010, according to the agency.

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, was in the middle of national debate across the Sunday morning talk shows over the potential of forcing a vote on the repeal of health care in the United States Senate. McConnell repeated his pledge to use procedural votes or amendments to get the issue in front of the Democratic-controlled United States Senate after the House passed the repeal bill last week. As the New York Times reported, Democrats acknowledged that Republicans could force a vote but said the bill wouldn’t pass.

The Courier-Journal’s Joe Gerth uses his Monday column to ponder whether Gov. Steve Beshear’s “curious selection” of Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker as Secretary of State was meant to add some geographic diversity to a Democratic slate that is looking urban-centric with many candidates from Louisville and Lexington. Meanwhile, Republicans running for statewide office this year are a more diverse bunch.

Kentucky’s Latino community is gearing up to oppose the immigration bill the Republican-led Senate passed earlier this month. More than 100 people turned out for an informational meeting in Lexington. And a rally against the measure is planned for Feb. 8, Jack Brammer of the Herald-Leader reports.

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